18 Tips for Success with Uber and Lyft

Photo courtesy of Flickr Images by Stock Catalog

The driver turnover is very high in Uber and Lyft, but why is it some of the drivers stick around for years one? Sometimes it’s not the strategy, spreadsheets, or analysis that makes an Uber and/or Lyft drivers great.

It is the intangible things that are hard to put numbers to that make all the difference in the ride sharing industry.

1. Learn Your Routes

Know where to turn right or left and how to avoid red lights. Every minute you spend not giving a ride to your customers is money lost.

Even if you were stuck in traffic for just 20 minutes and you only work five days, this translates to 80 hours a year.

2. Avoid the Negativity on the Internet

If you pay attention to the thousands of naysayers in the ride-sharing industry, you will never make any money. Instead, look for creative ways to cut down your costs.

You can, for example, connect your car to a great little gadget called GOFAR and the technology will you drive consistently in your car engine’s sweet spot.

This allows you to spend less on fuel and helps you keep track of your mileage for tax deduction purposes.

GOFAR also alerts you when it’s time to service your car.

3. Understand the Tricks of Driving

During the weekday rush hours, short but numerous trips make the most money. During the day from 10 AM to 3 PM, longer rides are more profitable since there is no traffic.

During the weekend, if you get a long ride, enable your destination filters to be paid for your return drive.

4. Enroll in a Class

Driving a car to make money may seem like a straightforward job, but many people find it incredibly helpful to take a course before beginning their career with Lyft or Uber.

When you start driving, it may be difficult knowing where to begin. You may spend some extra money, but get a significant return on your investment when you learn about when and where to find riders, surge pricing, strategies, record keeping, customer care and much more.

5. Join Other Drivers’ Forums

Familiarize yourself with what it’s like to drive in your area through other drivers’ experiences. This will save you time and help you to start earning more right away.

Most questions have been asked before. Use the forum to find answers quickly and avoid asking the group to repeat questions. Some drivers in these groups will not be welcoming to new group members who post a frequently asked question.

6. Pack Some Healthy Snacks

Packing some healthy snacks saves you money on small expenses such as coffee. It also ensures that the food you eat is always healthy.

7. The Little Things Count

Ridesharing is better when you go the extra mile.
Photo courtesy of Flickr Image by Elvert Barnes

Think about opening doors for passengers, helping them with their luggage or meeting them with an umbrella if it’s raining. It’s these little gestures that show passengers you care.

8. Become the Customer

Believe it or not, one of the best things you can do to improve your skills as a driver is to first experience ride sharing as a rider.

By taking even a handful of rides, you can learn a lot. Aside from merely observing what you do or don’t like about how drivers work, you can also ask drivers questions and learn more about the profession before you begin.

Ask your driver what they’ve learned, what they like, specifics about driving in your city, and how much they make. Most drivers will be happy to discuss their experiences, and you’ll get information straight from the source.

9. Ensure Your Insurance Covers Everything

Insurance isn’t usually foremost in a driver’s mind when they begin, but it will matter a lot if you are in an accident. You want to ensure that you are covered if this happens.

While Uber and Lyft both provide insurance coverage for when you are driving, you’ll still want to verify with your insurance provider to make sure you’re adequately covered.

Once you’ve spoken with your insurance provider, you may want to contact some others as well for comparison.

10. Become a Tour Guide

All cities have major events happening now and then. A smart driver would be on the lookout for professional and entertainment events so that if in the course of a conversation a passenger mentions they are a visiting for professional purposes but won’t mind some distraction, you can alert them of the event.

This is an excellent way to develop a rapport with clients, which can be very beneficial for your bottom line.

11. Advertise Products during Rides

If you’re ready to take your driving to the next level, advertising products during your rides could offer you an opportunity to up your profits with minimal effort.

12. Understand the Surge Pricing and Prime Time

Surge pricing (Uber), or Prime Time (Lyft), are times when the demand for rides goes up, and supply of drivers goes down, meaning that the rate charged for a trip increases.

Taking advantage of these times can lead to the potential for higher earnings for drivers.

You’ll see varying opinions on this. Some say that surge and prime time end up wasting your time, as the flood of responding drivers make it even harder to find riders.

Some advice taking advantage of it if it’s occurring in the area you are already driving. Keep on experimenting with the Surge Pricing until you find a formula that works for you.

13. Concentrate on the City

You may not be driving in a bigger city, in which case this wouldn’t apply. But if you are, staying in the city, as opposed to driving out to suburbs, is a smarter move for drivers.

ore people are looking for rides in the bustle of the city, and you’ll get more riders, and thus earn more, by sticking with the more crowded areas.

14. Drive for More than One Ride sharing Service

Once you’ve got some experience as a driver, you may want to consider driving for both Uber and Lyft at the same time.

By making yourself available with both companies, you can increase your number of rides and thus increase earnings made through ride sharing.

15. Offer Complimentary Gifts

Wow the passenger by offering complimentary items. Successful ride sharing drivers have items like bottled water, snacks, gum, and chargers for mobile devices on hand.

By providing these to riders, you can improve the likelihood of a high rating.

16. Keep Good Records

A lot of what makes for a successful ride sharing driver has to do with strategy and impressing riders, but behind the scenes, you’ve got to be a good record keeper to do well.

As an Uber or Lyft driver, you are self-employed and come tax season you’ll want to be prepared.

Keep receipts for things like tolls and parking, track your miles for deductions, and track your earnings so you know how much you can expect to pay in taxes.

17. Never Drive Aimlessly

A common mistake made in ride sharing is driving too much. Every bit of fuel used counts against your earnings. Between rides, don’t drive aimlessly around.

Instead, find a location that works well for you and park there between trips to save money.

18. Avoid Driver-Heavy Areas Using The Passenger App

If you’ve taken a few rides with Uber or Lyft yourself, you know that the passenger app will tell you how many drivers are in your area.

If you’re driving, you can check the passenger app to find out if you’re in a driver-heavy area and go elsewhere if that’s the case.

This simple step can ensure that you aren’t waiting for riders in the company of 10 other eager drivers.

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